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The Baum Plan for Financial Independence: and Other Stories (2008)

af John Kessel

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
19816102,747 (3.9)11
"Pride and Prometheus," a story inThe Baum Plan for Financial Independence involving characters from Jane Austen'sPride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley'sFrankenstein, is winner of the 2008 Nebula award for Best Novelette. A long-awaited collection of fourteen stories that intersect imaginatively withPride and Prejudice,Frankenstein,The Wizard of Oz, and Flannery O'Connor. Kessel, whose story "A Clean Escape" was filmed as part of ABC'sMasters of Science Fiction, ranges through genres with a lean, graceful style that incorporates everything from future autobiography, alternate history, phone sex, perpetual motion, and his modern classic sequence of four stories about life on the moon. "In his first collection in a decade, Kessel jumps from place to place like a jolty time machine. In "Pride and Prometheus," Frankenstein and Jane Austen intersect in an uncanny Victorian tale of unrequited love, while "A Lunar Quartet" introduces a matriarchal, hypersexual moon colony in the future. But as a group, these stories offer a sustained exploration of the ways gender dynamics can both empower and enslave us. Kessel's wit sparkles throughout, peaking with the most uproariously weirdphone-sex conversation you'll ever read ("The Red Phone")." A- --Entertainment Weekly "Anyone who thinks genre writing can't be literary deserves to have Kessel's hefty new collection of stories dropped on his or her head." --Time Out Chicago "Dark, wacky, wide-ranging short stories." --Charlotte Observer "A pleasant callback to the days when science-fiction authors read more than just science fiction." --The Seattle Stranger "Kessel's blend of dark humor and reality-stretching scenarios is consistently mesmerizing." --Booklist "These well-crafted stories, full of elegantly drawn characters, deliver a powerful emotional punch." --Publishers Weekly "Kessel proves himself again a master not just of science fiction, but also of the modern short story, crafting compelling characters and following them through plots that never fail to please--or to defy prediction." --Metro Magazine "One of the best collections of the year." --Locus "Kessel is a deft stylist and a master of all his tools, whose range is nearly limitless." --SciFi.com "John Kessel's writing exists at the edge of things, in the dark corner where the fiction section abuts the science-fiction shelves, in the hyphen where magic meets realism. Reading Kessel's wonderful fabulations is like staying out too late partying and seeing strange angels while stumbling home in the dawn's first light. This is one of those too rare short story collections that you can recommend with confidence to both the literary snob and the hard-core computer geek." --Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore, Asheville, NC "Invest. Invest now.... Your returns will be multitudinous." --The Fix John Kessel co-directs the creative writing program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. A winner of the Nebula, Sturgeon, Locus, and Tiptree awards, his books includeGood News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice,and The Pure Product,and story collection,Meeting in Infinity (a New York TimesNotable Book).     Most recently, with James Patrick Kelly he edited the anthologiesFeeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology,andThe Secret History of Science Fiction. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.… (mere)
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» Se også 11 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 16 (næste | vis alle)
A good collection. I especially enjoyed “Pride and Prometheus” as a longtime Jane Austen fan. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Jun 10, 2018 |
Short story collection.

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence - OK

Every Angel Is Terrifying - OK

The Red Phone read Good

The Invisible Empire - OK

A Lunar Quartet
—The Juniper Tree - good

—Stories for Men - quite good - Tiptree winner 2002
—Under the Lunchbox Tree - good

—Sunlight or Rock - OK
The Snake Girl - poor

It’s All True - OK

The Last American - OK

Downtown - quite good

Powerless OK
Pride and Prometheus - OK - Tiptree shortlist 2008

( )
  SChant | Apr 26, 2013 |
This could easily have been a 4 star book, but a few of the stories just didn't go anywhere. I'm all for ambiguity, but I have to feel like it's serving some purpose other than getting the author out of the story as quickly as possible.Still, this book blends science fiction with "straight" fiction as well as anything I've read since Vonnegut. Like Vonnegut, the sci-fi elements of his work serve to satire contemporary society and culture. What was most intriguing about this book was the way many of the stories addressed gender and power. One story imagines a world where the women of the suffragette movement formed violent gangs, ala the KKK, to terrorize abusive men into changing their ways, even going so far as to assassinate Grover Cleveland. Several other stories take place in a colony on the moon run by a society of "matrons," a colony where men live with very little power and where fatherhood is intentionally unknown. As a trade-off, men have few responsibilities, and sex is plentiful and without taboo. Girls are encouraged (and in most cases, forced) to move out at the age of 14 while boys live at home indefinitely. The ramifications of such a society cut both ways for Kessel, as the men and women struggle with the pressures of such an arrangement. In one of the stories, a comedian named "Tyler Durden" challenges the matriarchy, and faces grave consequences as a result.Fascinating stuff, and well worth a read this summer. ( )
  Patrick311 | Jul 15, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Have you read John Kessel? Sadly, I'd be surprised to hear that. Kessel doesn't have the largest audience, and that's too bad. I suspect much of that comes from the fact that his strongest work is his short fiction, and the longer I'm around, the more I find that people aren't reading a lot of short fiction.

It's too bad, really, particularly when you have such a talented short fiction writer as Kessel. He doesn't necessarily have a style that is instantly recognizable. And in fact, in this collection, Kessel works at donning the style and guise of another writer in many of its stories. He takes on writers from Flannery O'Connor to Karen Joy Fowler to Mary Shelley to Jane Austen. And it's hard to tell it's not the original author.

Kessel also tackles gender roles in a quartet of stories: "The Juniper Tree," "Stories for Men" (which won the Tiptree), "Under the Lunchbox Tree," and "Sunlight or Rock." The stories are set in a lunar colony that is run by women, but told from the point of view of a man struggling to find his identity.

It's been a while since I read this book, but when I go back through again, I remember how much I enjoyed reading it. It had been quite a while since Kessel's last collection, I hope we don't have to wait so long again. ( )
  johnklima | May 3, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I got this as an Early Reviewers book, but forgot to read it for awhile. I finally downloaded the Creative Commons ebook to my kindle and really enjoyed reading it over the last few days. I wasn't familiar with Kessel but will definitely be seeking out his other works.

This book is a volume of short stories, several links, some unsettling. Several took place in an interesting matriarchal society on the Moon. The last story is a Pride and Prejudice / Frankenstein mashup.

Definitely recommended. ( )
  kbuxton | Nov 3, 2009 |
Viser 1-5 af 16 (næste | vis alle)
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"Pride and Prometheus," a story inThe Baum Plan for Financial Independence involving characters from Jane Austen'sPride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley'sFrankenstein, is winner of the 2008 Nebula award for Best Novelette. A long-awaited collection of fourteen stories that intersect imaginatively withPride and Prejudice,Frankenstein,The Wizard of Oz, and Flannery O'Connor. Kessel, whose story "A Clean Escape" was filmed as part of ABC'sMasters of Science Fiction, ranges through genres with a lean, graceful style that incorporates everything from future autobiography, alternate history, phone sex, perpetual motion, and his modern classic sequence of four stories about life on the moon. "In his first collection in a decade, Kessel jumps from place to place like a jolty time machine. In "Pride and Prometheus," Frankenstein and Jane Austen intersect in an uncanny Victorian tale of unrequited love, while "A Lunar Quartet" introduces a matriarchal, hypersexual moon colony in the future. But as a group, these stories offer a sustained exploration of the ways gender dynamics can both empower and enslave us. Kessel's wit sparkles throughout, peaking with the most uproariously weirdphone-sex conversation you'll ever read ("The Red Phone")." A- --Entertainment Weekly "Anyone who thinks genre writing can't be literary deserves to have Kessel's hefty new collection of stories dropped on his or her head." --Time Out Chicago "Dark, wacky, wide-ranging short stories." --Charlotte Observer "A pleasant callback to the days when science-fiction authors read more than just science fiction." --The Seattle Stranger "Kessel's blend of dark humor and reality-stretching scenarios is consistently mesmerizing." --Booklist "These well-crafted stories, full of elegantly drawn characters, deliver a powerful emotional punch." --Publishers Weekly "Kessel proves himself again a master not just of science fiction, but also of the modern short story, crafting compelling characters and following them through plots that never fail to please--or to defy prediction." --Metro Magazine "One of the best collections of the year." --Locus "Kessel is a deft stylist and a master of all his tools, whose range is nearly limitless." --SciFi.com "John Kessel's writing exists at the edge of things, in the dark corner where the fiction section abuts the science-fiction shelves, in the hyphen where magic meets realism. Reading Kessel's wonderful fabulations is like staying out too late partying and seeing strange angels while stumbling home in the dawn's first light. This is one of those too rare short story collections that you can recommend with confidence to both the literary snob and the hard-core computer geek." --Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore, Asheville, NC "Invest. Invest now.... Your returns will be multitudinous." --The Fix John Kessel co-directs the creative writing program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. A winner of the Nebula, Sturgeon, Locus, and Tiptree awards, his books includeGood News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice,and The Pure Product,and story collection,Meeting in Infinity (a New York TimesNotable Book).     Most recently, with James Patrick Kelly he edited the anthologiesFeeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology,andThe Secret History of Science Fiction. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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